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The Self-Destructive Habits of Good Companies: ...And How to Break Them by Jagdish N. Sheth

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Chapter 2. Denial: The Cocoon of Myth, Ritual, and Orthodoxy

The dictionary’s primary definition of denial is accurate enough: “disbelief in the existence of reality of a thing” or “refusal to recognize or acknowledge that reality.” No better example could be imagined than Ken Olsen’s refusal to acknowledge the arrival of the PC. But there are many others.

The field of psychology has refined the definition of denial, as follows: “an unconscious defense mechanism used to reduce anxiety by denying thoughts, feelings, or facts that are consciously intolerable.” For our purposes, the “thoughts, feelings, or facts that are consciously intolerable” may be those that seek to remind high-flying companies that they arrived at their success through good ...

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